The Boston Bruins and GM Jason Gallant have certainly been busy on the trade front his off-season, completing a whirlwind of trades in a short period of time. Pre-established as a rebuilding team, the Bruins traded some players that have been key pieces of their line up over recent time. “There were a lot of moving parts, especially early on in the off-season,” said GM Gallant. “Although we made a lot of deals, none of them were just for the sake of making trades - we don’t want to be one of those teams. We had holes to fill in the lineup and our prospect cupboard was basically empty when I started here half-way through last season. We’re going in the direction that we need to right now. Some of these guys never even had a chance to put on a Bruins sweater, but a lot of these deals helped us either acquire better-suited players or move up a few rounds in the draft.”
The Bruins biggest deal happened when the cap-strapped Blue Jackets placed veteran winger Alex Steen on the chopping block. Gallant swooped in and took advantage, acquiring the 33 year old in exchange for a 5th round pick in the upcoming draft. “How could I not? I’ll never find someone like Steen in the 5th round, or at least it’ll be very unlikely. This was a safe move and lets us go in a few directions this season.” Steen is a three-time all-star and has only missed nine combined games in the past three seasons. He accumulated 219 points in the past 237 games and is approaching game number 900 in his career. He’s in the final year of a 2-year deal he signed in 2016.
Kyle Okposo was the biggest name leaving Boston, traded to the St Louis Blues, along with St. Louis’ own 7th round pick in the next draft in exchange for Jamie McGinn, Washington’s 2nd round pick in the next draft and St Louis’ 3rd round pick in 2019. GM Gallant cited Okposo’s upcoming UFA status at the end of the season as a major contributor to trading the winger. The team needed to decide which player will be designated as the loyalty due to multiple expiring contracts coming up. Okposo had been a crucial piece that the team received when they traded away star player Max Pacioretty to Buffalo. “Okposo’s played great for us,” Gallant said. “We certainly did not want to trade him.”
The team also dealt 36-year old Dennis Seidenberg to the suddenly defensively-stacked San Jose Sharks in exchange for the Kings’ 4th round pick in the upcoming draft. Seidenberg, who also was acquired in the Pacioretty deal, also has an expiring contract.
Brett Connolly became a Bruin when Boston sent their 2018 2nd round pick to Nashville in exchange for the young forward. Connolly is expected to get lots of opportunity this coming season and the team felt he was worth the risk, considering his age and potentially untapped potential.
Lance Bouma’s time in Boston was short-lived, to say the least, but the Bruins certainly made the best of it. They acquired Bouma from Nashville in exchange for the team’s 2019 8th round pick and later traded him to Philadelphia and re-acquired Boston’s 6th round pick in 2018. The move allowed the Bruins to move up 2 rounds.
Tom Pyatt, recently returning to the team after a short retirement, packed his bags for Anaheim in exchange for the Ducks 4th round pick in 2019. Boston also took the opportunity to rid themselves of 2 contracts, also sending Justin Selman and Jimmy Lodge to Anaheim.
Being slightly below the salary cap floor at the time, the Bruins took on the contract of Antti Niemi in exchange for $50,000. To take on Niemi’s contract, which sits at $3.4M in each of the next 2 seasons, Vancouver compensated Boston by returning the Bruins’ own 4th round pick in 2018, along with Vancouver’s 7th round pick in 2019. The move also gives Boston some depth in net and can now consider a variety of options from here.
“We’re likely done,” Gallant said. “At least for now. We’ll have some moving parts once the trade deadline nears.”
After drafting Cal Foote as the team’s only pick in the 2017 entry draft, Boston now sits with 14 picks for the 2018 draft and 12 picks in 2019.
Sent $5000 to Florida in exchange for Brock McGinn, Teddy Purcell & Chris Terry
Sent Michael Eyssimont to Buffalo in exchange for 2019 BUF 5th
Sent Kyle Clifford to Washington in exchange for 2018 WSH 6th
Sent Carl Gunnarson to Arizona in exchange for 2018 ARI 7th
Sent Ty Rattie to St Louis in exchange for 2019 STL 5th
Sent Rene Bourque to Minnesota in exchange for 2018 MIN 7th
Sent Jamie McBain to Vancouver in exchange for $100,000